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Gero of Cologne, St.


Archbishop of Cologne; d. June 28, 976. He was the son of the Margrave Christian of Lausitz and a nephew of Otto I's chaplain, Gero, who had defended the Saxon borders against the Wends. He was invested in 969 at Pavia by otto i and sent to constantinople in 971 to request the Byzantine Princess Anna, daughter of Romanus II (d. 963), as bride for the emperor's son, later otto ii. He received, instead of Anna, Theophano (d.991), niece of the Eastern Emperor John I Tzimisces. At the same time Gero brought back the relics of St. Pantaleon for the monastery of that name in Cologne. With his brother Thietmar he founded a Benedictine monastery in Thankmarsfeld that was soon transferred to Nienburg on the Saale. In 972 he founded the Abbey of Gladbach. His name is associated with the beautifully ornamented Gero-codex of the Gospels, now in Darmstadt, given to the Cologne cathedral possibly by the archbishop.

Feast: June 28.

Bibliography: w. neuss, ed., Geschichte des Erzhistums Köln (Cologne 1964) 1:172173. j. torsy, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiberg 195765) 4:757758. w. wattenbach, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter bis zur Mitte des 13. Jh. (Stuttgart-Berlin 1904) 1:362. r. holtzmann, Geschichte der sächsischen, Kaiserzeit, 9001024 (4th ed. Munich 1961). a. schÜtte, Handbuch der deutschen Heiligen (Cologne 1941) 140, bibliog. l. berg, Gero, Erzbischof von Köln (Freiburg 1913).

[m. f. mccarthy]

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